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GCEP Student Activities

2014 GCEP Student Energy Lectures

Speaker Schedule, Abstracts and Bios

* 2015 Student Energy Lectures
June 30, 2014
Michael KenneyMichael James Kenney: Protecting Silicon Photoelectrodes with Ultrathin Nickel Films

Abstract: Silicon is an attractive material for use in solar water splitting applications but its sensitivity to corrosion has limited its use. We have developed a simple nickel coating scheme that is capable of catalyzing water oxidation, generating a photovoltage and protecting the silicon surface from corrosion.

Bio: Michael is a 2nd year chemistry PhD student working in the lab of Professor Hongjie Dai. His project is focused on the application of photoelectrochemistry for the production of solar fuels.

Colin Bailie Colin Bailie: Combining Different Types of Solar Cells to Create Low-Cost Tandems with High Efficiency

Abstract: Improving the performance of photovoltaics will reduce the balance of systems (BOS) costs, which is necessary for solar energy to provide a significant fraction of the world’s electricity mix. Hybrid tandem photovoltaics, two different semiconductor technologies used in a single tandem device, are a promising solution to improve the efficiency of the module without greatly increasing the module cost. In an initial demonstration of this idea, a 'semi-transparent' perovskite solar cell is mechanically stacked onto a commercial grade solar cell to achieve an improvement in performance by using the tandem architecture.

Bio: Colin Bailie is a 4th year PhD student in Materials Science and Engineering. He works with Prof. Michael McGehee on making novel solar cells to try and solve the world's sustainable energy problem.

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July 7, 2014

Christopher Zahasky: Analysis of Risks and Key Factors Controlling Potential Leakage from Carbon Storage Reservoirs

Abstract: Despite the promise of global CO2 emissions reductions, CCS has been confined to a small fraction of large CO2 emissions point sources around the world. While economic hurdles provide the largest barrier to widespread implementation of CCS, some questions remain related to the short and long-term storage security. Should leaks arise at carbon storage sites, it is important to understand the character of leaks, the impacts on CO2 plume migration, and develop a work flow for intervention. This work aims to gain insight into some of these questions.

Bio: Christopher Zahasky is a first year Ph.D student in Sally Benson's lab in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering. His work focuses on storage security challenges surrounding long term carbon sequestration.

Matt Pellow: Hydrogen for Grid Storage: A Net Energy Analysis

Abstract: We present a net energy analysis of hydrogen for grid storage using regenerative fuel cells, and compare the result to other technology options for grid storage. The lifetime energy balance of a regenerative fuel cell is more favorable than for lithium ion batteries. Sensitivity analysis shows that the lifetime energy balance is strongly influenced by (1) the electrolyzer and fuel cell stack lifetimes and (2) the energy/power ratio of the system.

Bio: Matthew A. Pellow is a postdoctoral scholar in energy systems analysis at the Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) at Stanford University. His research examines the life-cycle energy and emissions balance of energy conversion and storage technologies, with a focus on sustainable hydrocarbon fuels. Previously a research chemist at General Electric Global Research in Niskayuna, New York, he holds a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Stanford University and a B.A. in chemistry from Columbia University.

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July 14, 2014

Michael StewartMichael Stewart: Cogeneration of Hydrogen and Electricity From Nested Carbon-Air/Carbon Steam Fuel Cells

Bio: Michael received his Doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Mexico in 2013 under Professor Abhaya Datye. His thesis work focused on the effects of pure and doped cerium oxides for improving hydrogen fuel cell lifetime. He is currently a first year post-doctoral researcher in Mechanical Engineering working under Professors Reginald Mitchell and Turgut Gur, working on sulfur tolerant anode materials for high temperature fuel cells.

Christina LiChristina Li: CO2 and CO Reduction on Oxide-Derived Nanocrystalline Copper

Abstract: Electrochemical CO2 reduction to C-based fuels is an attractive technology both for the recycling of waste CO2 as well as the storage of renewable energy. This talk will discuss a new class of catalysts called oxide-derived nanocrystalline metals that have high energetic efficiency for CO2 reduction. In particular, the CO reduction activity of oxide-derived Cu could enable a two-step electrochemical conversion of CO2 to ethanol.

Bio: Christina Li is a 4th year graduate student in the chemistry department, working under the direction of Professor Matt Kanan. Her interests are at the intersection of materials science and chemical catalysis.

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July 21, 2014

Adelaide Calbry-MuzykaAdelaide Calbry-Muzyka: Exergy Considerations in Adsorption-Based Carbon Capture Systems

Abstract: The reality of climate change, coupled with the persistence of fossil-fuel based electricity generation, means that the implementation of carbon capture technologies will likely be necessary. In view of this future, we would like to understand how well each of the different proposed technologies operate relative to their thermodynamic (exergetic) limits, for two reasons: (1) so that we may cross-compare these technologies, and (2) so that we may make directed improvements of individual technologies. In this talk, we focus on the exergy analysis of one such technology: an adsorption-based carbon capture system.

Bio: Adelaide graduated from MIT in 2009 with a bachelor's in mechanical engineering and completed her master's in the same field at Stanford in 2011. She is now working on her PhD in Chris Edwards' group (still in mechanical engineering), where she focuses on modeling and understanding the thermodynamic limitations of new carbon capture systems.

Chao WangChao Wang: Self-Healing Electrode for High-Energy Lithium Ion Batteries

Abstract: Develop a self-healing lithium ion battery, a new approach to solve the mechanical cracks in high-capacity silicon microparticle electrode by applying self-healing chemistry. Cracks in the electrode over the cycling process can self-heal, thus greatly enhancing the cycling stability of the battery: the battery has a high energy capacity (~10X of conventional graphite electrode) and superior cycling life of 10X longer than state-of-art Silicon microparticle battery.

Bio: Dr Chao Wang got his PhD in Chemistry from Tsinghua University in 2011 with highest honors (National Excellent Doctoral Dissertation Award). Subsequently, he joined Prof. Zhenan Bao’s group in Department of Chemical Engineering in Stanford University as a postdoctoral scholar. His currently research directions involves self-healing electronic materials, functional polymers, organic electronics and energy storage.

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July 28, 2014

John ToJohn To: Design of Hierarchical Nanoporous Nitrogen Doped Carbon for Post-Combustion CO2 Capture

Abstract: Mesoporous carbons are promising for CO2 capture due to chemical inertness, low cost, high surface area and tunable pore structures. Its porous structure allows addition of chemical functionality by grafting or impregnation. Amine chemistry tells us that nitrogen functionalization plays an important role in surface chemistry to achieve high CO2adsorption capacity. To increase the nitrogen content of the adsorbent, nitrogen is incorporated into porous carbon framework and further functionalized with amines.

Bio: John To is a 3rd year graduate student in Chemical Engineering, under the supervision of Professor Zhenan Bao. He is interested in making porous materials for various applications.

Greg RobertsGreg Roberts: A Computationally Efficient Tool for Analysis of Soot Formation within Diesel Engine Sprays

Abstract: This talk will focus on the development of a computationally efficient analysis tool that models solid carbonaceous particulate formation within a turbulent reacting jet. The fluid mechanics are simplified through reasonable mixing assumptions, which then allows the use of complex chemistry data to model soot precursor species formation. It also includes a phenomenological soot model that accounts for important physical processes such as nucleation, growth and oxidation. Lastly, the model will be compared against experimental imaging data.

Bio: Greg has just completed his fifth year in the Mechanical Engineering Thermosciences department. He works for professor Chris Edwards in the Advanced Energy Systems laboratory, and his research is focused on understanding soot formation within direct injection engines, and in particular strategies for avoiding excessive soot emissions.

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August 4, 2014

Andrea BowringAndrea Bowring: Organometallic Halide Perovskites for Photovoltaic Applications

Abstract: Over the last two years, hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite solar cells have made unprecedented increases in efficiency with a current record efficiency of 17.9%. These materials can be deposited many different ways, including by solution processing. This talk will discuss the affects of processing conditions on the morphology of the films and the number and types of defects.

Bio: Andrea Bowring is a third year PhD student in Materials Science. She researches hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite solar cells in Mike McGehee's lab.

Ian Smith: Layered Organic-Inorganic Perovskites as Efficient Solar Cell Absorbers

Abstract: For the first time, a solar cell utilizing a layered hybrid perovskite material as the absorber layer has been demonstrated. This organolead material, which is a derivative of the three-dimensional lead iodide perovskites seen in recent solar cell literature, allows for the incorporation of organic molecules that can add desired functionality to the material.

Bio: Ian Smith worked for Prof. Frank DiSalvo while earning degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics at Cornell University. He is currently starting his third year working for Prof. Hemamala Karuandasa in the chemistry department studying novel hybrid organic-inorganic semiconductors for photovoltaic applications.

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August 11, 2014

Carol Regalbuto, Mark Donohue and John Fyffe: Mixed Combustion/Electrochemical Energy Conversion for High-Efficiency Engines

Abstract: Past work in the Advanced Energy Systems Lab has shown that it is difficult for internal combustion engines to achieve efficiencies much higher than 60% due to the irreversibilities of the combustion process itself. In order to achieve efficiencies of 70% and greater, new measures must be taken to reclaim some of the work lost to combustion. In this project, we seek to introduce an electrochemical system as a complementary work-producing device in combination with an internal combustion engine in order to avoid the irreversibilities of combustion and realize a more efficient system.

Carol RegalbutoCarol Regalbuto Bio: Carol is finishing the third year of her PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Her work in the Advanced Energy Systems Lab under Professor Chris Edwards includes building a high-temperature PEM fuel cell from scratch for use in a combined cycle with an internal combustion engine. With this combined cycle, she and her colleagues are hoping to realize a system thermal efficiency of 70%. Carol is also interested in finding viable, cost-effective energy solutions for the developing world as well as implementing policies in the US to support energy systems that will reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. When not thinking about energy, Carol enjoys cycling, hiking, and snowboarding as much as she can.

Mark DonohueMark Donohue Bio: Mark is a third year PhD student in the Mechanical Engineering department. He graduated from the University of Central Florida with his BS in Mechanical Engineering in 2011. Mark works in the Advanced Energy Systems Lab on automotive-scale internal combustion engines with a focus on increasing efficiency through advanced combustion concepts as well as integration with other work extraction devices.

John Fyffe John Fyffe Bio: John is a Ph.D. student in the mechanical engineering department at Stanford University and is an alumni of the University of Texas. He works in the Advanced Energy Systems Laboratory under Dr. Chris Edwards and is working on developing a mixed combustion/electrochemical engine capable of reaching 70% thermal efficiency.

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